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Obama Wins Four Mour Years; Election Coverage

Aired November 7, 2012 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge victory and four more years. President Barack Obama wins re-election, and in the end, it wasn't even close.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You made your voice heard. And you made a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a gracious concession, Republican challenger Mitt Romney made a humble request of both parties.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To put the people before the politics.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end, the battleground state of Ohio put the election out of reach.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": The President of the United States defeats Mitt Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the nation remains a House divided.

BLITZER: The House stays in Republican control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the balance of power holds firm on Capitol Hill, a call for unity.

OBAMA: We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning we have every issue covered. Can the White House and Congress work together to fix the economy? Will the partisan gap now close? With the Empire State Building bathed in blue light, this much is clear.

BLITZER: Let the world know that 11:18 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States, we projected this win, the re-election of Barack Obama for another four years --


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. We welcome our viewers here in the United States and our viewers around the world, as well. I'm Soledad O'Brien.

Lots to talk about. You heard Wolf Blitzer say it. Barack Obama gets another four years. We also know that the balance of power has not changed. What will that mean for actually leading the -- the country to some big changes?

It will be interesting to see. Here's what the president said last night.


OBAMA: America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made, and continue to fight for new jobs, and new opportunities, and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders.

The idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love, it doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian, or native American, or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together, because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. And together, will your help, and God's grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless you, United States.


O'BRIEN: Let's talk more about those red states and blue states and in fact those critical swing states, of course. John Berman has more on that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's 303 electoral votes that's what President Obama has in his pocket this morning. More than a lot of people had predicted. Let's talk about three of the states that helped him get there.

Let's start with Ohio. This is the swing state everyone thought could decide the election. The president on top there right now by over 100,000 votes. It was the auto bailout, our exit polls show.

Also big margins in Cuyahoga County, traditional Democratic area around Cleveland that helped him carry Ohio. Next up, Virginia, very interesting tale to tell in Virginia, for much of the night, President Obama seemed to be trailing in Virginia.

But he racked up huge margins in Fairfax County. That's the area directly outside Washington, D.C. That area now much more diverse than it used to be. This could indicate that Virginia will be a swing state for some time to come.

Finally, Florida, now you'll notice Florida is yellow on some of our maps. That's because we haven't yet called Florida. Too close to call right now. However, the president is on top and they'll be counting more ballots in Miami-Dade County a little bit later on.

It's interesting, even though no one's called the race yet in Florida that may be the state that the Romney people set the tone knowing that they would lose as the night went on. Because they knew if they weren't winning in Florida, it was going to be nearly impossible for them to win this election.

So that's the states that the president used to put together his victory. Let's talk about some of the coalition of voters he used to get there. Christine Romans at the magic wall.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And the exit polling so fascinating, John, because if you really dig into what this vote looked like and what people thought.

Of those who voted 47 percent were men. Of those, 52 percent voted for Mitt Romney. But look at women, women here came out strong, they came out for the president, and I think he built on the margin he started in 2008.

BERMAN: He needed to because he won men four years ago. This time losing men by a hefty margin.

ROMANS: Let's take a look at age, another important part of the demographic. Young people went for the president. Of the voting population, 18 to 29 of those who voted were 18 to 29, 19 percent, 30 to 44, 27 percent.

Look at the older demographic, 45 to 64-year-olds 51 percent went for Mitt Romney. And then, you know the older they were the bigger the margin was for Mitt Romney, but the president certainly solidifying last year's -- or four years ago what he did with young people.

And then by race, 72 percent of those who cast a ballot were white. And of those, 59 percent went for Mitt Romney, a 20-point lead. But where -- how did he make it up otherwise? Take a look at that, the African-American vote, 13 percent, still very strong.

And the Latino vote for the first time ever making double digits here, and of those Latinos, 71 percent went for Barack Obama.

BERMAN: That's such a huge margin. A lot of people thought the president need to break 40 percent among white voters in order to win. He didn't get there, but he more than made up for it with minorities.

ROMANS: Absolutely. Latino voters, 71 percent, this is certainly an issue that the Republican Party is going to be talking about and arguing about very deeply when we move forward.

BERMAN: They're already started -- Soledad. O'BRIEN: All right, John, thank you. Governor Romney delayed his concession speech. He didn't get to it until about 1:00 in the morning. They were focusing on the results coming out of Ohio. But when he finally did come up to the podium and speak to his supporters. He was very gracious. Here's a little bit of what he said.


ROMNEY: Democrats and Republicans and government in all levels to put the people before the politics. I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure.

I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness. Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.

And I so wish, I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader, and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation. Thank you and God bless America. You guys are the best.


O'BRIEN: We're back with our panel this morning. John Avlon is with us, Ana Navarro. We have Ryan Lizza with us, Roland Martin as well, over here Ali Velshi helping us out as well. Let's analyze the exit polls. What are the numbers you're most focused on that helped President Obama over the top?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the big headline Obama wins the middle. He won the middle class, 86 percent of people said the middle class was the number one issue, he won. Both campaigns, not even close, 86 percent say President Obama won that.

Also moderate voters, President Obama winning them by a 16 percent margin. That isn't close either. So it really does seem that the Republican Party.

You see this in some of the candidates losing, the more extreme candidates, moderate voters rejecting them, saying this is a conversation you all are having with yourselves, it doesn't affect me, my pocketbook or the way I live on main street America.

O'BRIEN: Michael Nutter is the mayor of Philadelphia. He joins us this morning as well. It's nice to talk to you, Mr. Mayor. Thanks for being with us. Give me your assessment of what happened last night.

MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, (D) PHILADELPHIA: Well, certainly we had a great night in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. All congratulations certainly to President Barack Obama on his re-election.

And certainly as the president said, we thank Mitt Romney for a spirited, serious, campaign, but now is the time for governing. And my focus, quite frankly, Soledad, is on how do we unify, how do we bring together the --

O'BRIEN: OK, how do you unify? How do you do that?

NUTTER: And city government -- well, it's time for people to get serious about getting things done. Putting Americans back to work. Put the politics aside. The points for politics and let's deal with real people and real personalities, real leadership, and commitment to making things happen on behalf of the American public. That's what I'm focused on.

O'BRIEN: People tend to often focus on politics. Ana Navarro, how do you navigate that? The Congress, essentially the Congress --

NUTTER: Well, I understand that, but all us, pretty much the same oath of office to discharge our duties with fidelity. And that has to be focused on putting Americans back to work, helping young people get to college, on higher education.

Those who are young at heart get the higher education. We encourage businesses to invest, those trillions of dollars of money sitting on the sidelines. Get them into cities and metro areas and make things happen all across this country. The election is over. It's time for governing, and making things happen.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Soledad, you navigate it with difficulty and you navigate it with leadership and you navigate it by doing the right thing is often the politically smart thing to do. We just saw an example of this a week ago, ten days ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

We saw two of the biggest partisans, President Obama and Governor Christie, they had been -- Governor Christie had been one of the most vocal critics of President Obama, but you saw them come together, and you saw them needing to work together to put the needs of the people on top of it. I think that's the example to follow.

O'BRIEN: There are some people who say that's a terrible example, who are angry today at Governor Christie.

NAVARRO: You know what? Most -- there's always going to be a minority of people that are angry at something. I think it's very hard to criticize a man for doing his job.

O'BRIEN: Mayor Michael Nutter with us this morning. It's nice to talk to you, sir. Thank you for being with us. We've got to take a break.

Right after the break, we're going to be talk with Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, a winner last night in her race. Top surrogate for the Romney campaign as well. She'll talk to us about the loss last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: You, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey happens been lost, we have picked ourselves up. We have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.



O'BRIEN: We started with some scenes of victory and celebration from Chicago last night.

I want to get right to Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee. She's also a Romney campaign surrogate.

It's nice to see you. How are you feeling this morning?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, (R) TENNESSEE: Oh, well, of course, I would have liked a different outcome.

O'BRIEN: Talk to me a little bit about what your assessment is and why Governor Romney did not win. What went wrong?

BLACKBURN: Well, I don't know if we know exactly where things kind of ran off the rails. I do think that the president was helped by hurricane Sandy, and that kind of took the campaign and broke the campaign's momentum, if you will.

I think that the campaign got out there, and the Obama campaign, they convinced people that jobs and the economy were getting better. I have disagreement with that, as you can probably imagine. But with voters all across the country, Soledad, what we saw was jobs and the economy, was the number one issue. People want to get back to work, certainly with women. That was the number one issue and I think the campaign convinced them that they were getting better, that they had finally turned the corner on this issue.

I'm not so sure about that, and I think it's going to make for an interesting midterm election in a couple of years if those numbers do not improve, and if they don't change the way they're counting jobs, currently counting part-time --

O'BRIEN: You mean the Bureau of Labor Statistics is somehow spinning numbers to favor the Democrats. You're not saying that, are you?

BLACKBURN: Well, no, what I'm saying is, you know, people are looking for full-time, gainful employment. In years where you come in with young people who are saying, look, we've got a job but we can't move up because no one is retiring. People are saying they're not retiring because the economy has been so bad for so long.

O'BRIEN: You know --

BLACKBURN: And then, we have so many people that are saying, we want -- we don't want a lower wage part-time job that is a 30-hour week job. What we're looking for is a career track. But, you know, you've got to hand it to the Obama campaign. They convinced the American people that if they are on the right track, and, Soledad, for the good of this country, we have to hope that the economy will improve.

O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question, because if you look at what the Tea Party is saying today, they actually think the candidate was not a good candidate. We got a weak, moderate candidate handpicked by the Beltway elites, and country club establishment wing of the Republican Party.

They're not saying at all that the Obama campaign was able to somehow spin good economic numbers. They're saying the candidate wasn't good.

BLACKBURN: Well, you know, there is always going to be the Monday morning quarterbacking. And I appreciate that.

The point is that President Obama won this race. Those of us in the House need to help him be a better president the second term than he was the first term. The economic issues of this country, we are racing toward a situation like Greece if this out-of-control federal spending does not get under control. The amount of debt that has been heaped on our --

O'BRIEN: But when you look at those very categories in the exit polls, Congresswoman, you don't see Governor Romney with some giant lead when you look at the exit polls. So, you know, when you actually --

BLACKBURN: I agree with you.

O'BRIEN: -- where President Obama did well it was among women, it was among minorities. Isn't that speaking to maybe something else that's intrinsically problematic for the GOP?

BLACKBURN: Well, you're right about that. You know, women ended up breaking for the Obama ticket. I think that the jobs and the economic numbers were issue number one with women. We heard that repeatedly, whether they were independent, Democrat or Republican. And by the way, more women today classify themselves as independents than with either party.

And, Soledad, what I'm saying is, I think that the Obama campaign did a good job of convincing people that they have the country on the right economic track.

O'BRIEN: Congresswoman --

BLACKBURN: I am one of those that think we may not be on the right economic track --

O'BRIEN: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn --

BLACKBURN: -- but we have to do ---

O'BRIEN: I thank you for that. I want to turn to our panel and bring them in. We appreciate your time this morning.


O'BRIEN: -- what she was saying why.

AVLON: I did, because looking at the gap with women, the gender gap, and pretending that it's really an economic issue solely is not acknowledging reality. When Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lose in states that Mitt Romney wins by double digits, it's about abortion and their comments about a position of abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

O'BRIEN: Roland?

AVLON: So, you've got to acknowledge that and deal with it.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I did not hear a single ounce of accountability from Congresswoman Blackburn. We're dealing with a situation now where we have a Congress that refuses to also work with a White House to solve this nation's issues. I would love to see a Republican member of Congress actually come on here and say, look, we've got to work through this thing together.

You can see them saying, oh, we hope it gets better. I can't believe he got -- I was so shocked --

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Give her a chance, it's only 6:20 in the morning.

MARTIN: It doesn't matter.

LIZZA: We don't know where the Republicans are going yet. You asked one congresswoman --


MARTIN: What I'm saying is, I would appreciate, though, if somebody would accept some accountability because they have a job to do.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I think we've got to end this ridiculous narrative about the jobs numbers.

AVLON: Thank you.

VELSHI: It's ridiculous.

O'BRIEN: Somehow they're fraudulent and they're manipulated and the Bureau of Labor Statistics --

VELSHI: They're the same numbers under the Republicans, they are the Democrats, it's like the Electoral College. If we all want to change the way it's measured, let's all do it.

O'BRIEN: All right. Coming up this morning, for the very first time, the people vote to legalize same-sex marriage in two states. We'll take a look at the big issues that brought people to the polls. That's straight ahead. Stay with us.



ROMNEY: I so wish -- I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader, and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation. Thank you and God bless America.


O'BRIEN: That's Governor Romney in his concession speech, which he did a little bit after 1:00 in the morning, earlier this morning.

Voters going to the polls not just to vote on who would be the next president, but they were also taking some looks at their own -- issues in their own state.

For example, the question of same-sex marriage in the state of Maine. You can say right there, yes, 53 percent to no 47 percent. That passed. It was approved in Maine.

Also approved in the state of Maryland, as well. We can show that graphic to you right there, 52 percent to 48 percent.

Back to the panel now. Big surprise?

AVLON: Yes. I mean every time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote in ballot initiatives it has lost. So this is a significant tipping point, because it raises a question about whether we should put civil rights issues to popular votes.

Now, these two votes, Maryland and Maine, show we have quantified, the fact we have it at tipping point here nationally --

LIZZA: Yes, but --

O'BRIEN: Cosmic shift or no?

LIZZA: It's not seismic shift because it's Maryland and Maine. They're blue states. What's going to happen is when these referendums come up in red states, they're never going to pass.


LIZZA: So the country is gradually going to divide along those lines. And take you know several decades before --

NAVARRO: It might take decades, but it's a yes. It's not a never. It's a yes.

LIZZA: But the debate has moved. You've already seeing conservatives move on to a position that they never would have had 10 years ago, which is OK, we're for civil unions, but not gay marriage. Another 10 and 20 years, everyone will be -- (CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: If you can pull that graphic up again.

O'BRIEN: Which one, Maryland or Maine?

MARTIN: Maryland.

O'BRIEN: Let's put the Maryland up, guys.

MARTIN: Look at the vote total. Although you say it's a blue state, that is still an extremely small amount of votes. And so, you're still going to have this issue, because when the president came out in support of same-sex marriage, he said he supported it in terms of states deciding.

Again, you can have these initiatives, at the end of the day, the Supreme Court is eventually going to have to rule.

LIZZA: 2012 --

NAVARRO: To me, it wasn't surprising because I think it's a generational shift. You're going to see more Republicans like Margaret, like Meghan McCain, like myself, who are pro-gay rights, pro-gay marriage --

O'BRIEN: (INAUDIBLE) to John, because that's John's wife with Margaret.


LIZZA: In 2012.

NAVARRO: Transgender --


LIZZA: Everyone knows. But 2012 is the turning point for this issue. A president came out in favor of gay marriage and not only did it not hurt him but it probably helped him get re-elected.

AVLON: And we have Tammy Baldwin becoming the first openly gay senator elected tonight. And in 2009, don't forget, Maine, the state that passed it last night, rejected a similar margin just a couple of years.

NAVARRO: My Cuban-American, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros- Lehtinen was the Republican that voted against (INAUDIBLE).

O'BRIEN: Well, this is not a repeat. Florida is keeping us up waiting this morning. At least we already have a winner. We're going to take you live to the Sunshine State to explain what the holdup is there at sunrise. That's coming up next.


O'BRIEN: Welcome, everybody. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world, as well. I'm Soledad O'Brien.

We have a winner. It is Barack Obama winning re-election. Another four years in the White House. In his victory speech, he called for the unity of the American people, and he warned that Washington gridlock might not be a likely to end any time soon, but they had to figure out a way around that.

Take a look at the electoral map and see some of the numbers, 303 for President Obama, Mitt Romney 206. The yellow state is the state of Florida. We're actually waiting for the numbers to come out of Florida. Here's a little bit of what the president said in his victory speech. Listen.


OBAMA: Despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.

I'm not talking about blind optimism. The kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead, or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us. So long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.


America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made, and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity, and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders. The idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic, or Asian or native American, or young, or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight -- you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.



O'BRIEN: That was a bit of the victory speech. But what was the road to get to that victory? Did all roads, in fact, go through the state of Ohio, John Berman?

BERMAN: You know, for days and days and days we've been talking about Ohio. We said the whole election could hinge in Ohio. And to a certain extent it did.

It was only after we called the state of Ohio for President Obama that -- at 11:18 last night, CNN was able to call the entire election for President Obama.

I'm joined now by Carol Costello who is live this morning in Columbus, Ohio.

Carol, let's get a little bit of a different feeling there this morning.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, things are so much calmer now. But as you said, John, it was Ohio, Ohio, Ohio yesterday. Voters were excited to get to the polls. I spent most of my day yesterday in Hamilton County in the southwestern portion of the state near Cincinnati and voter turnout was extraordinarily high.

I'm now in Columbus, which is the center of the state, and I decided to get the newspapers for you because I'm an old-fashioned kind of gal and I thought you'd want to see the headlines. The first one says, "Obama wins Ohio". Can you see that?

And a second edition will come out later today, "The best is yet to come." And this headline is really telling. Because Ohioans are really hoping the best is yet to come.

Mostly voters voted for Obama because he supported the auto bailout. A lot of them kept their jobs because of that bailout. There was that really negative ad released by the Romney campaign that sort of turned voters off here, because that campaign ad said that the car companies were going to move their jobs to China, which wasn't exactly true. That just scared voters, and that made them more enthusiastic to vote Obama.

That said, now that Obama is in office, they know there are still so many problems the country is facing, a huge federal deficit. People in southwestern Ohio talked about that a lot. They said they want the debt gone. Somebody has to handle that debt.

Of course, that fiscal cliff thing is coming. People know what that is. They want that crisis solved.

Bipartisanship. They want that back. Is it possible? I mean, we saw during the hurricane with Chris Christie and Barack Obama that it was possible.

So maybe it's possible if Obama gets a second term -- as they say, John Berman, time will tell.

BERMAN: You know, Carol, it's so interesting. You brought up that now famous or infamous Jeep ad from the Romney campaign. We talk about what possible mistakes campaigns make. You really sense there was a palpable sense that ad backfired?

COSTELLO: Oh, absolutely. You know, I've always wondered, can a campaign get too negative? Because we always hear that negative ads work. That's why campaigns put out negative ads. But there must be some line that you cannot cross.

And certainly in parts of Ohio, that Jeep ad crossed that line, especially for example in Lucas County where Toledo is, where, you know, they make Jeep products. People there were angry because they felt they were lied to.

And they didn't want to be scared anymore. They're scared enough they're going to lose their jobs. They don't want some campaign ad coming out saying that the car companies are moving jobs to China when it just isn't true. They want to be told the truth when it comes to their bread and butter.

So, yes, I think that ad made a big difference in certain parts of the Ohio, in the northeastern section where the auto manufacturing jobs are plentiful.

BERMAN: All right. Carol Costello live this morning in Columbus with maybe a warning for campaigns about the future of negative advertising -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I think it's not only the negativity. It also, as Carol pointed out, the dishonesty in that ad and the highlighting of something that was a flaw already that was problematic for their campaign.

AVLON: That's exactly right. I saw the same thing Carol is discussing when Ali and I were on the battleground bus tour to Toledo, and throughout the region.

But, you know, what really is stunning about Ohio, here's a state that Mitt Romney could have won. This is a main street Republican state.

What the Obama campaign did in Ohio is emblematic I think of why they won the election last night -- intense investment in ground game. County leaders, local offices, real advantage, calling up people, early voting, having enormous edge on that. They took a demographic strategy that was risky in a state like Ohio, because to some extent the demographic fault lines this election, the future versus the past. They were able to put their votes up.

LIZZA: If you look at the strategy of the Obama campaign, the air war and the ground war, this was won on the ground.

O'BRIEN: What's the moral of that?


O'BRIEN: We spent a lot of time, analyzing ads, talking about money around.

NAVARRO: The moral is that people to people contact still matters. And I think, look, we have to give credit to the Romney campaign, they did a much better job than we did four years ago.

LIZZA: You only had six months to get organized. Obama had four years.

NAVARRO: Obama kept a lot of that organization fairly intact and just brought it into action. LIZZA: I was just looking at a map. The number of field offices that Obama had versus the number of field offices that Romney had, and you know, just an order of magnitude, and the field offices mattered, to have people in the neighborhoods, in the states, reaching out person to person contact.

The ads, look, $100 million of ads in the late summer by the Obama campaign. Romney goes into the first debate and erases the entire thing.

MARTIN: But here is the lesson and I hope every voter understands. We just talk about Sheldon Adelson, we can talk about all of these, the Koch brother and everything, they spend millions of dollars. At the end of the day, elections are won by votes.

Now I would hope every voter out there, even if you didn't support President Obama, is empowered by the fact that what you saw frankly in this election was a rejection of billionaires trying to buy democracy.


NAVARRO: A lot of Democrats, and Democrat millionaires also --


MARTIN: Not true.

NAVARRO: Maybe not to the same level, but there --


O'BRIEN: Ryan, you and I spoke about the polls, the likely voter polling and would Nate Silver be accurate or would Nate Silver --

LIZZA: Nate Silver, look at this number up here, 303. Nate Silver was slightly, depending on how Florida goes, Nate Silver was actually slightly pessimistic about how well Obama would do.

O'BRIEN: And he was at 91 percent.

LIZZA: Absolutely. If you will look at the state polling averages on the final day of this race, they correlated exactly with the results we're showing on that screen. So it was a huge victory yesterday for math.

O'BRIEN: And an indication -- no, I would also --


LIZZA: The polling nails it. The polling absolutely is right. The key is, this isn't rocket science. This is just averages. This was a victory for averages. Go state by state. Take the last 10 polls, average them --

(CROSSTALK) LIZZA: But you got to have likely voters. You have to make sure that the people you're talking to, right, are the actually voters who are likely voters who are going to translate into people going to the polls.

AVLON: But the point that Ryan is making, look, math isn't partisan. We need to have a pundit accountability project because --

O'BRIEN: Yes, I support that.

AVLON: -- I got to tell you, partisan pundits who have been predicting landslides to pump up their base could not be more wrong.

LIZZA: Nate Silver's next project should be climate science and BLS statistics.


MARTIN: Nate Silver may feel if he actually predicted -- I had 281 for Obama. He predicted 303 for Obama. So, right now, he's hoping Obama doesn't win Florida so his number will stay the same.


O'BRIEN: We've got to take a short break. When we come back in just a moment we're going to talk about the Asian market the reaction overnight to the president's re-election. We'll also talk about what Wall Street's going to be thinking when they get the news (ph). That's ahead. Stay with us.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. You're looking at some still pictures from last night. That's the victory celebration of the Obama headquarters in Chicago.

That's Jill Biden and Joe Biden and Mrs. Obama and Sasha and Malia as they were celebrating last night.

Time to talk about the impact on the markets. Christine Romans, Ali Velshi have more on that.

The fiscal cliff is looming. Let's talk about the markets first before we get to the cliff.

ROMANS: Markets basically are barely moving. We'll watch the futures the next couple of hours to see what happens before 9:30 Eastern Time.

VELSHI: It will tell you more a little closer. The bottom line is they were -- they would have been OK, they would have been better if Mitt Romney had won.


VELSHI: Because he was going to cut taxes, and he wasn't going to increase taxes -- reduce regulation. He was going to be good for the banks.

But, ultimately, it's not that Obama is bad for the banks, this market has doubled since the recession. Since Obama took office. So all of these people who say he's bad for the markets, he's not. Democrats aren't typically. It just would have been nicer for them.

ROMANS: The big question for the president now is he wants growth. The American people want the economy to start to grow. They want jobs. The biggest risk to that right now is government, itself.

VELSHI: Right.

ROMANS: Government in the form of your elected leaders in Congress. I mean, they stand in the way of this. They've got to figure out the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is massive, massive spending cuts, massive tax hikes that slam on the economy at the same time, would mean a lot of people out of work, factories close. They have to fix this and they're not even -- they're barely moving toward it.

O'BRIEN: Ali, fiscal cliff 101. A couple people tweeted me saying you keep talking about the fiscal cliff, and I don't really know that I understand it.

VELSHI: It's a whole bunch of things that are not great that are going to happen at the same time. Tax cuts are going to expire, the Bush era tax cuts. Certain benefits and credits are going to go away.

And, they're going to be the sequestration, which as you know, is a stupid name for a stupid thing, but it was the deal that they made for the credit limit increase, the debt limit increase where they said if you guys all can't seat around, 12 of you and make a deal, then we're going to cut 10 percent across the board in everything.

ROMANS: It brings debt ceiling and then they attached a suicide note and that's basically what it is.

O'BRIEN: -- military spending and all spending.

VELSHI: All cutting across the board, which is not what you do in an economy like this. Spending is necessary -- spending cuts are necessary. These are not surgical. These are just across the board cuts. So, all of that comes together at once, which is why it's called the fiscal cliff.

O'BRIEN: And the theory was if you do that dramatic sequestration, everyone's going to get some good common sense.

VELSHI: You're just scared into doing the right thing.

LIZZA: It's like an obese person who can't lose any weight so they decide to cut off their supple of food on a given day.

VELSHI: That's a very good example.

LIZZA: And they really don't have a plan for how they're going to get -- MARTIN: Or cut their leg off and somehow think they're going to be fine.

AVLON: They'll be losing weight. Yes. The other thing is that, you know, this congressman has shown and demonstrated an ability to try to play chicken with cliffs. We did it with the debt ceiling. The problem is the temptation. Some of the hard-core ideologues will have to say, let's see how close we can get to the edge of that cliff and see if it increases our negotiation.

O'BRIEN: Some of them have been elected out of office.

AVLON: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: But others are still in office and you have the House and the Senate as divided as it was before.

NAVARRO: The lame duck Congress was able to do something, because we've got a lot of reconcilers and a lot of good people that are still going to be there that are free to act now that it's elected --


LIZZA: John Boehner is the most important person in Washington today. He has to decide whether he's willing to reach an accommodation to Barack Obama similar to what they almost got in 2011. And to do that, he has to know that he's going to --


O'BRIEN: But in the past, he's had problems getting there, right? Because --


NAVARRO: Barack Obama needs to lead. He needs to -- the first thing that he needs to do is extend an olive branch to John Boehner. Pick up the phone today, and say, let's --


NAVARRO: -- was able to smoke the peace pipe with Bill Clinton, he can certainly smoke a peace pipe --


MARTIN: A couple things. First of all you, saw last night the president's speech as well as the statement from Speaker John Boehner that actually was an olive branch. Far different from Senate Minority Leader McConnell. But here's the other thing, we talk about this fiscal cliff. The Bush tax cuts will expire.

Now, on the one hand, folks say oh, my God that's bad because what's going to happen if those taxes go up. But also, if those taxes continue, the deficit increases. And so, every time we talk about this folks act as if somehow that's not there and (ph) the deficit is real.

O'BRIEN: Let me take a moment to read what John Boehner said, "The American people want solutions, and tonight, they responded by renewing our House Republican majority. With this vote, the American people also made clear there's no mandate for raising tax rates. Americans want better solution that will ease the burdens of small businesses, bring jobs home, and let our economy grow. We stand willing to work with any willing partner who shares a commitment to getting those things done."



NAVARRO: We've been talking about the statement by McConnell and the statement by Boehner.

O'BRIEN: I've got that one, too.

NAVARRO: Let me just say this before you read it. There is an enormous difference between being the minority leader and being the speaker of the House. It's a completely different set of circumstances. It's a completely different --


O'BRIEN: Here's McConnell. "The American people did two things. They gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office. They preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives," and he goes on and on and on --

LIZZA: You know, the days of the loyal opposition saying something nice on election night, and all working together are over. I mean, that's very rare --

O'BRIEN: -- to Donald Trump, doesn't it?


VELSHI: Oh, it's something really -- let's remember one thing. There are some 250 members of Congress who have signed a pledge, Grover Norquist pledge not to increase taxes. Guess what? Not in their court anymore. If nobody does anything on December 31st, everybody's taxes go up in the country. So, they're in the corner. They're going to have to work.

AVLON: And look, John Boehner is a dealmaker. He did say also in his statement about common ground. Mitch McConnell, the question is, how much is he going to use the filibuster? It was abused over the last four years, unprecedented. Does that continue in a second Obama administration?


NAVARRO: And how much John Boehner and Mitch McConnell -- (CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Can I read something Donald Trump -- have you been following him? You should follow him. He's -- his mind.

NAVARRO: I can't.

O'BRIEN: Briefly.

AVLON: It's like somebody attacked him, except it's not.


O'BRIEN: He is completely over the edge. I got to read some of these. He says this, "The House of Representatives shouldn't give anything to Obama, unless, he terminates Obamacare. The Electoral College is a disaster for democracy. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy. Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice. The world is laughing at us." And then he called for a march on Washington.


O'BRIEN: World reacts to Barack Obama's re-election. We'll take a look at that part of the story. That's coming up next. Stay with us.


OBAMA: It doesn't matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic, or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America, if you're willing to try.



BERMAN: We were all glued to the election results and all the images like these coming across last night. But rest assured we were not the only ones here in the U.S. People around the world simply riveted by our election. Here's a taste from our reporters spanning the globe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not hearing anything yet.

BERMAN: We're going to pause for a second here while they get themselves together. But we have reporters from around the world. Is Ben ready? Ben Wedeman? All right then. Let's toss back to the panel and get some more reaction from election night -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Talk about international reaction. You know, Ben Wedeman obviously having some audio problems, but you heard across the board it seemed like our partners in Israel, our partners in the Middle East, have all thought that this was not a bad thing. A good thing, cheering President Obama's re-election. What's the impact?

AVLON: David Cameron reaching out very publicly via Twitter. The only country that isn't a big Obama fan, I think, is Pakistan. It's safe to say for a number of reasons. I mean, look, this is the kind of -- these are the kind of polls that Republicans would use in ads if they had them.


LIZZA: For foreign policy continuity is really important.

MARTIN: Right, right. Stability.

LIZZA: Stability. And we've now had three presidents in a row who've had two terms. We've had an incredible period of stability right now. Think about this, from Eisenhower to Reagan, we didn't have a single president who was re-elected to a second term. Now, since 1980, you know, with the exception of George H.W. Bush, all of our presidents have served two terms.

It's really important for foreign policy because to implement the presence of foreign policy takes eight years. So, Obama's -- this whole vision of Obama trying to gradually move up -- a lot of the research is out of the Middle East, wind down the two wars, and pivot towards Asia, as the --

NAVARRO: I think we need to put --

LIZZA: We need four more years to implement that.

NAVARRO: You need to play more images like you heard a little earlier. The people of Kenya celebrating to see if Donald Trump's --

O'BRIEN: We have some photos of the folks, some video of the folks in Kenya who are celebrating, in fact, the president's victory. His family members who are cheering that. They mention that they are hoping that if he gets a little free time, maybe he'll come by.

MARTIN: You know what, no, seriously, Soledad, to that point, I think is important. I really do hope that the next four years the president, not just take a visit to Kenya, just to be able to celebrate as a native son, but also --

LIZZA: As a native son?



MARTIN: No, no, no, first of all, he's a son of Kenya, OK? His dad was Kenyan, so are you? OK. But my point is, when you look at terms of exploding economies and the growth in the world, Africa is a critical place. The president of the United States should be leading voice.


MARTIN: Roland Martin just admitted on the air that Barack Obama --


O'BRIEN: Let's get right. I think we have fixed Ben Wedeman's technological audio problems. Let's get right back to him.

Or maybe I'm wrong. And we have not fixed -- we have not fixed his problems.


O'BRIEN: Wait, guys. A rule, no talking over each other -- Ali.

VELSHI: Thank you, ma'am. Here's the thing. The world right now is one big economic shift that's being tossed around in the waves. Europe has caused big problems. There's nothing we can do about that right now. It's pushed over to Asia. It's hurting Asia. Everyone is looking to the U.S. to stabilize this shift right now.

So, it's not a matter whether you like us or you don't like us, you need us not to fail. And that's why markets around the world are stable. They're just as happy. Stability is a big point.

O'BRIEN: All right. Ali, thank you. We want to take a break right here. Our next hour begins right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge victory and four more years. President Barack Obama wins re-election, and in the end, it wasn't even close.

OBAMA: You made your voice heard. And you made a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a gracious concession, Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, made a humble request of both parties.

ROMNEY: To put the people before the politics.

KING: No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end, the battleground state of Ohio put the election out of reach.

BLITZER: The president of the United States defeats Mitt Romney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the nation remains a House divided as the balance of power holds firm on Capitol Hill, a call for unity.

OBAMA: We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, we have every issue covered. Can the White House and Congress work together to fix the economy? Will the partisan gap now close? With the Empire State Building bathed in blue light, this much is clear.

BLITZER: Let the world know that 11:18 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States, we projected this win, the re-election of Barack Obama for another four years.